[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The phytochelatin synthase from photosynthetic Euglena gracilis (EgPCS) was analyzed at the transcriptional, kinetic, functional, and phylogenetic levels. Recombinant EgPCS was a monomeric enzyme able to synthesize, in the presence of Zn(2+) or Cd(2+), phytochelatin2-phytochelatin4 (PC2-PC4) using GSH or S-methyl-GS (S-methyl-glutathione), but not γ-glutamylcysteine or PC2 as a substrate. Kinetic analysis of EgPCS firmly established a two-substrate reaction mechanism for PC2 synthesis with Km values of 14-22 mM for GSH and 1.6-2.5 μM for metal-bis-glutathionate (Me-GS2). EgPCS showed the highest Vmax and catalytic efficiency with Zn-(GS)2, and was inactivated by peroxides. The EgPCS N-terminal domain showed high similarity to that of other PCSases, in which the typical catalytic core (Cys-70, His-179 and Asp-197) was identified. In contrast, the C-terminal domain showed no similarity to other PCSases. An EgPCS mutant comprising only the N-terminal 235 amino acid residues was inactive, suggesting that the C-terminal domain is essential for activity/stability. EgPCS transcription in Euglena cells was not modified by Cd(2+), whereas its heterologous expression in ycf-1 yeast cells provided resistance to Cd(2+) stress. Phylogenetic analysis of the N-terminal domain showed that EgPCS is distant from plants and other photosynthetic organisms, suggesting that it evolved independently. Although EgPCS showed typical features of PCSases (constitutive expression; conserved N-terminal domain; kinetic mechanism), it also exhibited distinct characteristics such as preference for Zn-(GS)2 over Cd-(GS)2 as a co-substrate, a monomeric structure, and ability to solely synthesize short-chain PCs, which may be involved in conferring enhanced heavy-metal resistance.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Applying basic biochemical principles, this review analyzes data that contrasts with the Warburg hypothesis that glycolysis is the exclusive ATP provider in cancer cells. Although disregarded for many years, there is increasing experimental evidence demonstrating that oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) makes a significant contribution to ATP supply in many cancer cell types and under a variety of conditions. Substrates oxidized by normal mitochondria such as amino acids and fatty acids are also avidly consumed by cancer cells. In this regard, the proposal that cancer cells metabolize glutamine for anabolic purposes without the need for a functional respiratory chain and OxPhos is analyzed considering thermodynamic and kinetic aspects for the reductive carboxylation of 2-oxoglutarate catalyzed by isocitrate dehydrogenase. In addition, metabolic control analysis (MCA) studies applied to energy metabolism of cancer cells are reevaluated. Regardless of the experimental/environmental conditions and the rate of lactate production, the flux-control of cancer glycolysis is robust in the sense that it involves the same steps: glucose transport, hexokinase, hexosephosphate isomerase and glycogen degradation, all at the beginning of the pathway; these steps together with phosphofructokinase 1 control glycolysis in normal cells. The respiratory chain complexes exert significantly higher flux-control on OxPhos in cancer cells than in normal cells. Thus, determination of the contribution of each pathway to ATP supply and/or the flux-control distribution of both pathways in cancer cells is necessary in order to identify differences from normal cells which may lead to the design of rational alternative therapies that selectively target cancer energy metabolism.
The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology 01/2014; · 4.89 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the extent to which the supply of the precursor 2-oxoglutarate (2-OG) controls the synthesis of lysine in Saccharomyces cerevisiae growing exponentially in high glucose, top-down elasticity analysis was used. Three groups of reactions linked by 2-OG were defined. The 2-OG supply group comprised all metabolic steps leading to its formation, and the two 2-OG consumer groups comprised the enzymes and transporters involved in 2-OG transformation into lysine and glutamate and their further utilization for protein synthesis and storage. Various 2-OG steady-state concentrations that produced different fluxes to lysine and glutamate were attained using yeast mutants with increasing activities of Krebs cycle enzymes and decreased activities of Lys synthesis enzymes. The elasticity coefficients of the three enzyme groups were determined from the dependence of the amino acid fluxes on the 2-OG concentration. The respective degrees of control on the flux towards lysine (flux control coefficients) were determined from their elasticities, and were 1.1, 0.41 and -0.52 for the 2-OG producer group and the Lys and Glu branches, respectively. Thus, the predominant control exerted by the 2-OG supply on the rate of lysine synthesis suggests that over-expression of 2-OG producer enzymes may be a highly effective strategy to enhance Lys production.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: By applying metabolic control analysis and inhibitor titration we determined the degree of control (flux control coefficient) of pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase (PFOR) and bifunctional aldehyde-alcohol dehydrogenase (ADHE) over the fluxes of fermentative glycolysis of Entamoeba histolytica subjected to aerobic conditions. The flux-control coefficients towards ethanol and acetate formation determined for PFOR titrated with diphenyleneiodonium were 0.07 and 0.09, whereas for ADHE titrated with disulfiram were 0.33 and -0.19, respectively. ADHE inhibition induced significant accumulation of glycolytic intermediates and lower ATP content. These results indicate that ADHE exerts significant flux-control on the carbon end-product formation of amoebas subjected to aerobic conditions.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sulfate uptake was analyzed in photosynthetic Euglena gracilis grown in sulfate sufficient or sulfate deficient media, or under Cd(2+) exposure or Cys overload, to determine its regulatory mechanisms and contribution to Cys homeostasis.
In control and sulfate deficient or Cd(2+)-stressed cells, one high affinity and two low affinity sulfate transporters were revealed, which were partially inhibited by photophosphorylation and oxidative phosphorylation inhibitors and ionophores, as well as by chromate and molybdate; H(+) efflux also diminished in presence of sulfate. In both sulfate deficient and Cd(2+)-exposed cells, the activity of the sulfate transporters was significantly increased. However, the content of thiol-metabolites was lower in sulfate-deficient cells, and higher in Cd(2+)-exposed cells, in comparison to control cells. In cells incubated with external Cys, sulfate uptake was strongly inhibited correlating with 5-times increased intracellular Cys. Re-supply of sulfate to sulfate deficient cells increased the Cys, γ-glutamylcysteine and GSH pools, and to Cys-overloaded cells resulted in the consumption of previously accumulated Cys. In contrast, in Cd(2+) exposed cells none of the already elevated thiol-metabolites changed.
(i) Sulfate transport is an energy-dependent process; (ii) sulfate transporters are over-expressed under sulfate deficiency or Cd(2+) stress and their activity can be inhibited by high internal Cys; and (iii) sulfate uptake exerts homeostatic control of the Cys pool.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 05/2012; 1820(10):1567-75. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A kinetic model of trypanothione [T(SH)(2)] metabolism in Trypanosoma cruzi was constructed based on enzyme kinetic parameters determined under near-physiological conditions (including glutathione synthetase), and the enzyme activities, metabolite concentrations and fluxes determined in the parasite under control and oxidizing conditions. The pathway structure is characterized by a T(SH)(2) synthetic module of low flux and low catalytic capacity, and another more catalytically efficient T(SH)(2) -dependent antioxidant/regenerating module. The model allowed quantification of the contribution of each enzyme to the control of T(SH)(2) synthesis and concentration (flux control and concentration control coefficients, respectively). The main control of flux was exerted by γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase (γECS) and trypanothione synthetase (TryS) (control coefficients of 0.58-0.7 and 0.49-0.58, respectively), followed by spermidine transport (0.24); negligible flux controls by trypantothione reductase (TryR) and the T(SH)(2)-dependent antioxidant machinery were determined. The concentration of reduced T(SH)(2) was controlled by TryR (0.98) and oxidative stress (-0.99); however, γECS and TryS also exerted control on the cellular level of T(SH(2)) when they were inhibited by more than 70%. The model predicted that in order to diminish the T(SH)(2) synthesis flux by 50%, it is necessary to inhibit γECS or TryS by 58 or 63%, respectively, or both by 50%, whereas more than 98% inhibition was required for TryR. Hence, simultaneous and moderate inhibition of γECS and TryS appears to be a promising multi-target therapeutic strategy. In contrast, use of highly potent and specific inhibitors for TryR and the antioxidant machinery is necessary to affect the antioxidant capabilities of the parasites.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Endoplasmic Reticulum stores calcium and is a site of protein synthesis and modification. Changes in ER homeostasis lead to stress responses with an activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). The Entamoeba histolytica endomembrane system is simple compared to those of higher eukaryotes, as a canonical ER is not observed. During amoebiasis, an infection of the human intestine and liver by E. histolytica, nitric oxide (NO) triggers an apoptotic-like event preceded by an impairment of energy production and a loss of important parasite pathogenic features. We address the question of how this ancient eukaryote responds to stress induced by immune components (i.e. NO) and whether stress leads to ER changes and subsequently to an UPR. Gene expression analysis suggested that NO triggers stress responses marked by (i) dramatic up-regulation of hsp genes although a bona fide UPR is absent; (ii) induction of DNA repair and redox gene expression and iii) up-regulation of glycolysis-related gene expression. Enzymology approaches demonstrate that NO directly inhibits glycolysis and enhance cysteine synthase activity. Using live imaging and confocal microscopy we found that NO dramatically provokes extensive ER fragmentation. ER fission in E. histolytica appears as a protective response against stress, as it has been recently proposed for neuron self-defense during neurologic disorders. Chronic ER stress is also involved in metabolic diseases including diabetes, where NO production reduces ER calcium levels and activates cell death. Our data highlighted unique cellular responses of interest to understand the mechanisms of parasite death during amoebiasis.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(2):e31777. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kinetic analysis of PFK-1 from rodent AS-30D, and human HeLa and MCF-7 carcinomas revealed sigmoidal [fructose 6-phosphate, Fru6P]-rate curves with different V(m) values when varying the allosteric activator fructose 2,6 bisphosphate (Fru2,6BP), AMP, Pi, NH(4)(+), or K(+). The rate equation that accurately predicted this behavior was the exclusive ligand binding concerted transition model together with non-essential hyperbolic activation. PFK-1 from rat liver and heart also exhibited the mixed cooperative-hyperbolic kinetic behavior regarding activators. Lowering pH induced decreased affinity for Fru6P, Fru2,6BP, citrate, and ATP (as inhibitor); as well as decreased V(m) and increased content of inactive (T) enzyme forms. High K(+) prompted increased (Fru6P) or decreased (activators) affinities; increased V(m); and increased content of active (R) enzyme forms. mRNA expression analysis and nucleotide sequencing showed that the three PFK-1 isoforms L, M, and C are transcribed in the three carcinomas. However, proteomic analysis indicated the predominant expression of L in liver, of M in heart and MCF-7 cells, of L>M in AS-30D cells, and of C in HeLa cells. PFK-1M showed the highest affinities for F6P and citrate and the lowest for ATP (substrate) and F2,6BP; PFK-1L showed the lowest affinity for F6P and the highest for F2,6BP; and PFK-1C exhibited the highest affinity for ATP (substrate) and the lowest for citrate. Thus, the present work documents the kinetic signature of each PFK-1 isoform, and facilitates the understanding of why this enzyme exerts significant or negligible glycolysis flux-control in normal or cancer cells, respectively, and how it regulates the onset of the Pasteur effect.
Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 12/2011; 113(5):1692-703. · 3.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Trichomonas vaginalis 120 kDa protein adhesin (AP120) is induced under iron-rich conditions and has sequence homology with pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase A (PFO A), a hydrogenosomal enzyme that is absent in humans. This homology raises the possibility that, like AP120, PFO might be localized to the parasite surface and participate in cytoadherence. Here, the cellular localization and function of PFO that was expressed under various iron concentrations was investigated using a polyclonal antibody generated against the 50 kDa recombinant C-terminal region of PFO A (anti-PFO50). In Western blot assays, this antibody recognized a 120 kDa protein band in total protein extracts, and proteins with affinity to the surface of HeLa cells from parasites grown under iron-rich conditions. In addition to localization that is typical of hydrogenosomal proteins, PFOs that were expressed under iron-rich conditions were found to localize at the surface. This localization was demonstrated using immunofluorescence and co-localization assays, as well as immunogold transmission electron microscopy. In addition to describing its enzyme activity, we describe a novel function in trichomonal host interaction for the PFO localized on the parasite surface. The anti-PFO50 antibody reduced the levels of T. vaginalis adherence to HeLa cell monolayers in a concentration-dependent manner. Thus, T. vaginalis PFO is an example of a surface-associated cell-binding protein that lacks enzyme activity and that is involved in cytoadherence. Additionally, PFO behaves like AP120 in parasites grown under iron-rich conditions. Therefore, these data suggest that AP120 and PFO A are encoded by the same gene, namely pfo a.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the first committed step in the lysine (Lys) biosynthetic pathway is catalysed by the Lys20 and Lys21 homocitrate synthase (HCS) isoforms. Overexpression of Lys20 resulted in eightfold increased Lys, as well as 2-oxoglutarate pools, which were not attained by overexpressing Lys21 or other pathway enzymes (Lys1, Lys9 or Lys12). A metabolic control analysis-based strategy, by gradually and individually manipulating the Lys20 and Lys21 activities demonstrated that the cooperative and strongly feedback-inhibited Lys21 isoform exerted low control of the pathway flux whereas most of the control resided on the non-cooperative and weakly feedback-inhibited Lys20 isoform. Therefore, the higher control of Lys20 over the Lys flux represents an exception to the dogma of higher pathway control by the strongest feedback-inhibited enzyme and points out to multi-site engineering (HCS isoforms and supply of precursors) to increase Lys synthesis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The diseases caused by the trypanosomatid parasites Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania are widely distributed throughout the world. Because of the toxic side-effects and the economically unviable cost of the currently used pharmaceutical treatments, the search for new drug targets continues. Since the antioxidant metabolism in these parasites relies on trypanothione [T(SH)(2)], a functional analog of glutathione, most of the pathway enzymes involved in its synthesis, utilization and reduction have been proposed as drug targets for therapeutic intervention. In the present review, the antioxidant metabolism and the phenotypic effects of inhibiting by genetic (RNA interference, knock-out) or chemical approaches, the T(SH)(2) and polyamine pathway enzymes in the parasites are analyzed. Although the genetic strategies are helpful in identifying essential genes for parasite survival/infectivity, they are less useful for drug-target validation. The effectiveness of targeting each pathway enzyme was evaluated by considering (i) the enzyme kinetic properties and antioxidant metabolite concentrations and (ii) the current knowledge and experimental approaches to the study of the control of fluxes and intermediary concentrations in metabolic pathways. The metabolic control analysis indicates that highly potent and specific inhibitors have to be designed for trypanothione reductase and the peroxide detoxification system, and hence other enzymes emerge (γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase, trypanothione synthetase, ornithine decarboxylase, S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase and polyamine transporters) as alternative more suitable and effective drug targets in the antioxidant metabolism of trypanosomatids.
Current drug targets 12/2010; 11(12):1614-30. · 3.93 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most cancer cells exhibit an accelerated glycolysis rate compared to normal cells. This metabolic change is associated with the over-expression of all the pathway enzymes and transporters (as induced by HIF-1α and other oncogenes), and with the expression of hexokinase (HK) and phosphofructokinase type 1 (PFK-1) isoenzymes with different regulatory properties. Hence, a control distribution of tumor glycolysis, modified from that observed in normal cells, can be expected. To define the control distribution and to understand the underlying control mechanisms, kinetic models of glycolysis of rodent AS-30D hepatoma and human cervix HeLa cells were constructed with experimental data obtained here for each pathway step (enzyme kinetics; steady-state pathway metabolite concentrations and fluxes). The models predicted with high accuracy the fluxes and metabolite concentrations found in living cancer cells under physiological O(2) and glucose concentrations as well as under hypoxic and hypoglycemic conditions prevailing during tumor progression. The results indicated that HK≥HPI>GLUT in AS-30D whereas glycogen degradation≥GLUT>HK in HeLa were the main flux- and ATP concentration-control steps. Modeling also revealed that, in order to diminish the glycolytic flux or the ATP concentration by 50%, it was required to decrease GLUT or HK or HPI by 76% (AS-30D), and GLUT or glycogen degradation by 87-99% (HeLa), or decreasing simultaneously the mentioned steps by 47%. Thus, these proteins are proposed to be the foremost therapeutic targets because their simultaneous inhibition will have greater antagonistic effects on tumor energy metabolism than inhibition of all other glycolytic, non-controlling, enzymes.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 11/2010; 1807(6):755-67. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Much of the search for the "magic cancer bullet" or "block buster" has followed the expectation of a single gene or protein as "the rate-limiting step" for tumor persistence. Examples continue to abound: EGFR, VEGFR, Akt/PI3K, HIF-1α, PHD, PDK, or FAS continue to be targeted individually. However, many such attempts to block a metabolic or signal transduction pathway by targeting, specifically, a single rate-limiting molecule have proven to be unsuccessful. Metabolic control analysis (MCA) of cancer cells has generated a generic explanation for this phenomenon: several steps share the control of energy metabolism (for glycolysis: glucose transporter, hexokinase, glycogen synthesis and ATP demand; for oxidative phosphorylation: respiratory complex I and ATP demand), i.e., there is no single "rate-limiting step". Targeting a type of step that does not exist is unlikely to be a successful paradigm for continued research into drug targeting of cancer. MCA establishes how to determine, quantitatively, the degrees of control that the various enzymes in the intracellular network exert on vital flux (or function) and on the concentration of important metabolites, substituting for the intuitive, qualitative and most often erroneous concept of single rate-limiting step. Moreover, MCA helps to understand (i) the underlying mechanisms by which a given enzyme exerts high or low control, (ii) why the control of the pathway is shared by several pathway enzymes and transporters and (iii) what are the better sets of drug targets. Indeed, by applying MCA it should now be possible to identify the group of proteins (and genes) that should be modified to achieve a successful modulation of the intracellular networks of biotechnological or clinical relevance. The challenge is to move away from the design of drugs that specifically inhibit a single controlling step, towards unspecific drugs or towards drug mixtures, which may have multiple target sites in the most exacerbated, unique and controlling pathways in cancer cells. Successful nonspecific drugs should still be specific for the networks of cancer cells over those of normal cells and to establish such cell-type specificity within molecular non-specificity will continue to require sophisticated analyses. Clinical practice has anticipated the latter strategy of mixtures of drugs: combinations of anti-neoplastic drugs are already administered with encouraging results. Therefore, the most promising strategy for cancer treatment seems to be that of a multi-targeted, MCA-advised, therapy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been assumed that oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) in solid tumors is severely reduced due to cytochrome c oxidase substrate restriction, although the measured extracellular oxygen concentration in hypoxic areas seems not limiting for this activity. To identify alternative hypoxia-induced OxPhos depressing mechanisms, an integral analysis of transcription, translation, enzyme activities and pathway fluxes was performed on glycolysis and OxPhos in HeLa and MCF-7 carcinomas. In both neoplasias exposed to hypoxia, an early transcriptional response was observed after 8h (two times increased glycolysis-related mRNA synthesis promoted by increased HIF-1alpha levels). However, major metabolic remodeling was observed only after 24h hypoxia: increased glycolytic protein content (1-5-times), enzyme activities (2-times) and fluxes (4-6-times). Interestingly, in MCF-7 cells, 24h hypoxia decreased OxPhos flux (4-6-fold), and 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase and glutaminase activities (3-fold), with no changes in respiratory complexes I and IV activities. In contrast, 24h hypoxia did not significantly affect HeLa OxPhos flux; neither mitochondria related mRNAs, protein contents or enzyme activities, although the enhanced glycolysis became the main ATP supplier. Thus, prolonged hypoxia (a) targeted some mitochondrial enzymes in MCF-7 but not in HeLa cells, and (b) induced a transition from mitochondrial towards a glycolytic-dependent energy metabolism in both MCF-7 and HeLa carcinomas.
The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology 10/2010; 42(10):1744-51. · 4.89 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The in vitro Entamoeba histolytica pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase (EhPFOR) kinetic properties and the effect of oxidative stress on glycolytic pathway enzymes and fluxes in live trophozoites were evaluated. EhPFOR showed a strong preference for pyruvate as substrate over other oxoacids. The enzyme was irreversibly inactivated by a long period of saturating O(2) exposure (IC(50) 0.034 mm), whereas short-term exposure (< 30 min) leading to > 90% inhibition allowed for partial restoration by addition of Fe(2+). CoA and acetyl-CoA prevented, whereas pyruvate exacerbated, inactivation induced by short-term saturating O(2) exposure. Superoxide dismutase was more effective than catalase in preventing the inactivation, indicating that reactive oxygen species (ROS) were involved. Hydrogen peroxide caused inactivation in an Fe(2+)-reversible fashion that was not prevented by the coenzymes, suggesting different mechanisms of enzyme inactivation by ROS. Structural analysis on an EhPFOR 3D model suggested that the protection against ROS provided by coenzymes could be attributable to their proximity to the Fe-S clusters. After O(2) exposure, live parasites displayed decreased enzyme activities only for PFOR (90%) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH; 68%) of the bifunctional aldehyde-alcohol dehydrogenase (EhADH2), whereas acetyl-CoA synthetase remained unchanged, explaining the increased acetate and lowered ethanol fluxes. Remarkably, PFOR and ALDH activities were restored after return of the parasites to normoxic conditions, which correlated with higher ethanol and lower acetate fluxes. These results identified amebal PFOR and ALDH of EhADH2 activities as markers of oxidative stress, and outlined their relevance as significant controlling steps of energy metabolism in parasites subjected to oxidative stress.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of oncoproteins and tumor suppressor proteins in promoting the malignant transformation of mammalian cells by affecting properties such as proliferative signalling, cell cycle regulation and altered adhesion is well established. Chemicals, viruses and radiation are also generally accepted as agents that commonly induce mutations in the genes encoding these cancer-causing proteins, thereby giving rise to cancer. However, more recent evidence indicates the importance of two additional key factors imposed on proliferating cells that are involved in transformation to malignancy and these are hypoxia and/or stressful conditions of nutrient deprivation (e.g. lack of glucose). These two additional triggers can initiate and promote the process of malignant transformation when a low percentage of cells overcome and escape cellular senescence. It is becoming apparent that hypoxia causes the progressive elevation in mitochondrial ROS production (chronic ROS) which over time leads to stabilization of cells via increased HIF-2alpha expression, enabling cells to survive with sustained levels of elevated ROS. In cells under hypoxia and/or low glucose, DNA mismatch repair processes are repressed by HIF-2alpha and they continually accumulate mitochondrial ROS-induced oxidative DNA damage and increasing numbers of mutations driving the malignant transformation process. Recent evidence also indicates that the resulting mutated cancer-causing proteins feedback to amplify the process by directly affecting mitochondrial function in combinatorial ways that intersect to play a major role in promoting a vicious spiral of malignant cell transformation. Consequently, many malignant processes involve periods of increased mitochondrial ROS production when a few cells survive the more common process of oxidative damage induced cell senescence and death. The few cells escaping elimination emerge with oncogenic mutations and survive to become immortalized tumors. This review focuses on evidence highlighting the role of mitochondria as drivers of elevated ROS production during malignant transformation and hence, their potential as targets for cancer therapy. The review is organized into five main sections concerning different aspects of "mitochondrial malignancy". The first concerns the functions of mitochondrial ROS and its importance as a pacesetter for cell growth versus senescence and death. The second considers the available evidence that cellular stress in the form of hypoxic and/or hypoglycaemic conditions represent two of the major triggering events for cancer and how oncoproteins reinforce this process by altering gene expression to bring about a common set of changes in mitochondrial function and activity in cancer cells. The third section presents evidence that oncoproteins and tumor suppressor proteins physically localize to the mitochondria in cancer cells where they directly regulate malignant mitochondrial programs, including apoptosis. The fourth section covers common mutational changes in the mitochondrial genome as they relate to malignancy and the relationship to the other three areas. The last section concerns the relevance of these findings, their importance and significance for novel targeted approaches to anti-cancer therapy and selective triggering in cancer cells of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway.
Molecular Aspects of Medicine 03/2010; 31(2):145-70. · 10.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phosphoglycerate kinase (EC 184.108.40.206) catalyzes reversible phosphoryl transfer from 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate to ADP to synthesize 3-phosphoglycerate and ATP during glycolysis. Phosphoglycerate kinases from several sources can use GDP/GTP as alternative substrates to ADP/ATP; however, the maximal velocities (V(m)) reached with the guanine nucleotides are approximately 50% of those displayed with the adenine nucleotides. By contrast, Entamoeba histolytica phosphoglycerate kinase (EC 220.127.116.11) is the only reported phosphoglycerate kinase displaying higher activity with GDP/GTP and lower affinities for the adenine nucleotides. To elucidate the molecular basis of the Entamoeba histolytica phosphoglycerate kinase selectivity for GDP/GTP, a conformational analysis was carried out on a homology model based on crystallographic structures of yeast and pig phosphoglycerate kinases. Some amino acid residues involved in the purine ring binding site not previously described were detected. Accordingly, Y239, E309 and V311 were replaced by site-directed mutagenesis in the Entamoeba histolytica phosphoglycerate kinase gene for the corresponding amino acid residues present in the adenine nucleotide-dependent phosphoglycerate kinases and the recombinant proteins were purified. Kinetic analysis of the enzymes showed that the single mutants Y239F, E309Q, E309M and V311L increased their catalytic efficiencies (V(m)/K(m)) with ADP/ATP as a result of both, increased V(m) and decreased K(m) values. Furthermore, a higher catalytic efficiency in the double mutant Y239F/E309M was achieved, which was mainly due to an increased affinity for ADP/ATP with a concomitant diminished affinity for GDP/GTP. The main Entamoeba histolytica phosphoglycerate kinase amino acid residues involved in the selectivity for guanine nucleotides were thus identified.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For many years virulence of pathogenic Entamoeba histolytica has been attributed to the capacity of the parasite to destroy tissues through the expression and/or secretion of various molecules. Such view is supported mainly by in vitro experimentation, whereas data obtained by using animal models of the disease have clearly demonstrated that the host's inflammatory response is primarily responsible for tissue damage. This review analyzes the content and/or activity of some of the presumed toxic amebic molecules present in amebic strains with different degrees of virulence compared to various parasite in vitro functions that are supposed to correlate with in vivo virulence. The analysis suggests that amebic virulence is primarily determined by the parasite's capacity to adapt and survive the aerobic conditions present in animal tissues. This initial episode in the host-parasite relationship is an absolute requirement for the further development of tissue lesions, which result from the concerted action of many molecules derived from both, the host and the parasite.
Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 05/2009; 9(6):1033-7. · 3.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The molecular mechanisms by which tumor cells achieve an enhanced glycolytic flux and, presumably, a decreased oxidative phosphorylation are analyzed. As the O(2) concentration in hypoxic regions of tumors seems not limiting for oxidative phosphorylation, the role of this mitochondrial pathway in the ATP supply is re-evaluated. Drugs that inhibit glycoysis and oxidative phosphorylation are analyzed for their specificity toward tumor cells and effect on proliferation. The energy metabolism mechanisms involved in the use of positron emission tomography are revised and updated. It is proposed that energy metabolism may be an alternative therapeutic target for both hypoxic (glycolytic) and oxidative tumors. (c) 2009 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.